Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Trying to get to normal...

So this week we made some Challah, just like I said I would with the Challah Challenge.  It was nice to do something regular- something with a definitive result.


This was the recipe I used this week, again, something I had in the house.  This book was a gift from my sister a few years back.  I love how versatile it is, and how it has crafts and things for the kiddos.  It's a great book to have around, although if I'm honest, this Challah isn't my winner.

Jewish Holiday Treats
'Round-and-round challah'

2 pks yeast
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups warm milk
1 Tb salt
5 large eggs beaten
1/2 cup oil
7 cups flour
1 egg, for egg wash

Dissolve yeast in warm milk with 1 tbl sugar.  Stir in remaining sugar, salt, eggs, and oil.  Stirl in flour 1 cup at a time until smooth, not sticky.  Turn out and knead.  Put in oil coated bowl to rise until double (30-60 minutes)

Turn out and divide in half.  Roll out three ropes, and braid.  Cover with towel and let rise 30 minutes (this recipe is for Rosh Hashana, so it goes into instructions on making it round, so I'm skipping that part).

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

When I made our Challah this week, I had a few helpers.  EG and her friend came by the house.  The girls loved to dump in the flour- I used a half cup measuring cup so it would last even longer.  Then stirring was a big exciting event too!

I hope that EG has these memories.  My mom never did much baking, while she had a definite knack for cooking.  Cooking with my mom was one of my greatest memories.  She would always make sure we knew her techniques, and when I was home in high school alone when my sister went to college it was lots of fun in the kitchen, since I could always make whatever I wanted to.

I remember once she had someone over the house when I got home from school.  I went straight to the kitchen and checked on the onions she had on the stove.  She told me later that the friend she was with was so impressed that I would just jump in like that, and how wonderful it was that we were competent in the kitchen.

I can definitely say we are.  My sister even tackled Thanksgiving for the first time a few years ago, and I can't wait to go up north for her repeat performance!

It's interesting how difficult it's been.  Some days are just 'fine' and others are really terrible.  But no matter what the day, Challah always helps....

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Struggling, trying, moving...

I never intended for this blog to be a spot for me to just spout at random about things- it's always had a sort of rambling purpose- and yes, while it's about me, it's about having kids and raising them as a jewish family here in LA.

But then something like this happens.  I'd like to think that the people who read my blog care about me and my family enough to want to know when things like this happen in our lives.  I've shared my birth stories, my kids lives, and everything else to share with you as my readers.

So, if you're not that into it, and you're waiting for me to share about Rosh Hashana, I'm sure I'll get there.

But right now, I just can't even seem to get past the front door.  things are totally overwhelming, and I can't believe how unbelieveably sad I am.  The support from family and friends has been great- some of the notes are  moving and wonderful.  But each morning I wake up wishing that I could go back in time.  I think of my last conversations with my mom and I regret things.  I wish that I was a better daughter, and I wish that I could be a better mom right now.

It's hard to move forward.  To keep going on what needs to be done.

To figure out how to engage in a world that is so vastly different, yet dramatically the same, than it was a week ago.

Hopefully this week I'll be able to give some insights into sitting Shiva, jewish funerals, and talking about death with your children.  You may not want to read it, but at least it might give someone else some guidance someday.

I promise to work on those other posts- Rosh Hashana, Pretend City, and what Ocho is like as an almost 2month old....

Monday, September 1, 2014

I'm Sorry

I should have a lot of great posts.  One about the Natural History Museum, Pretend City, and camping with a one month old.

I don't have any of that.  I have a mom who died on Friday night.  And right now that's all I can say about it.  Because I can't even begin to understand what happened.  That she's not here any more.  That I spoke with her at 11am on Friday and that by the same time on Saturday she was

We were out in Limekiln, enjoying the whales and the dolphins and seals.  It took them over half the day to get in touch, no cell reception up there.

So here we are, all gathered together.  Waiting. 

The funeral will likely be on Thursday, tentatively scheduled for 2pm. 

We're sitting Shiva at my Dad's house on Thursday and Saturday.  We'll be at Temple Shir HaMaLot on Friday night for Shabbat.

I just want this horrible nightmare to end.  I just want to wake up.  I want to throw dishes and jump out of the world.  Be anyplace where this isn't happening.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Conversations with EG

In the past few days I've had quite a few conversations with EG that have caught me totally off guard.

Into the Book:
We were sitting in the bathroom, EG on the potty me reading stories.  You know, as you do when potty training, and suddenly EG says "I go in there."  In where honey?  "I go in there.  I want to go in there."  Oh, in the story.  Honey, we can't go inside of a picture in a book.  We can go there in our imagination, we can pretend to be the bears in the story.  We can dress up like the bears and act out the scene.  "No, I go in there.  Daddy can fix it."  Daddy can fix what?  "Daddy will fix it."

She's so convinced that she can affect the items inside of a book- she also tried to knock over a stack of blocks in a picture book.  She hits the book, and I'm not exactly sure what to say to convince her that she can't affect the picture.

Feed my Baby:
Somehow, in all the conversations I thought I would have with EG, the fact that she would want to take off her shirt and feed Ocho never really seemed to factor in.  I contemplated that she would want to drink breast milk herself.  I thought that she would be angry about the time that Ocho gets with Mommy.  I thought that she would want to taste Mommy's milk too.  But never did I think that she would want to take off her shirt and feed either Ocho or her dollies.  Since she brought it up, I gather that it's actually really common.

I told her that she could feed her baby dollies, or her teddy bear.  Luckily she dropped it fairly fast.  She has done very well with understanding and remembering that she shouldn't touch the babies head when she's eating, only her feet.

Yeah Mommy Yeah:
We're working on EG being Potty trained.  I like to say we are doing it diligently, but the reality is with a new little one, it's to hard to try to get her to the potty and breastfeed.  However, we definitely encourage it, spend lots of time reading books on the potty (see above) and celebrating successes.

This leads me to the conversation: EG "You go on the potty mommy" Yes, EG I did go pee-pee on the potty this morning. "Yeah Mommy" clap clap clap "Yeah Mommy- you a big girl- you such a big girl."  Good to know my achievements are being recognized!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pier Concerts

Have you been to one of the concerts on the Pier of Redondo?  What a fun family adventure.  Though they go a bit too late into the evening for our crowd to enjoy the whole event, the 6pm start time means you can grab or bring dinner for 5:30 and enjoy through the sunset. 

That's just what we did a few nights ago:

They have the band set-up on the largest part of the pier, away from all the shops and restaurants, just a nice wide open space.  They create a really nice dance floor area around the stage, so everyone can get up and boogie....

There was a nice crowd on the night we went.  The music is definitely kiddo friendly (no cursing, etc.) and enjoyable.  Lots of little ones doing the boogie.

EG and I hit the dance floor, really running and jumping around.  She was trying to play with the three other little girls you see on the right, but they were too wild for her.

We ate somewhere else, but these people had a great set-up. Nice lawn chairs, and a great little 'table in a bag' that they had gotten.  They showed us how to do it up nice.

We stayed until the sun went down, which was a treat for all of us, since we're usually at home for bath time before 7pm.  It did get a little chilly, but overall it was a wonderful little evening out, something I would definitely recommend.

They have the concerts going on through the end of August, just a few more weeks.  They had them in July too, but we were busy doing something else...

Have you been to one of the concerts on the pier?  What about Manhattan Beaches' concerts?  We've seen lots of people going to them, walking over to Polliwog, but never made it out ourselves...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Redondo Beach Fish Market

This past week we took  a walk on the wild side an took the whole gang to the Redondo Beach pier.  It's totally unlike either the Manhattan Beach pier, or the Hermosa Beach pier, in that it's a busy fish market, with a ton of stuff going on. It's a circular pier, and it's a wonderful place to visit.

When we go to the Redondo Beach pier our primary purpose is to eat at the fish market- which we totally love.  It's an amazingly good time, but certainly not something that everyone would take too. 

 This is our table, after dinner. We had a whole fish cooked to order, their vegetable side dish, and Working Dad bought some steamed squid.  Suprisingly the first time we came here, EG's favorite dish was the squid.  She wasn't so interested this time, but that may be the fault of the french fries. 

If you've never been there, you might be surprised/confused by the newspaper on the table.  You can see in the picture there are other tables with it.  This isn't 'gourmet' eating, rather it's messy and a touch gross, typically with crab shells or oyster shells all around.  Hence the newspaper, it helps keep the tables cleaner for everyone.

 Of course Ocho came with us- her first trip here.  She tried to sleep through it, but once she smelled the fish she was hungry too!

I should mention that there are at least three fish markets in the area, but we always eat at "Quality Seafood Live."  You go through and actually pick out your fish and seafood, from live oysters they shuck in front of you, to all sorts of fish and shrimp and crab.  Again, not much on service (you pick up your own food) but great on quality and price.

They also serve beer, so it's a nice place to sit, relax and people watch.

It draws a very interesting crowd.  If I'm honest, it tends to draw a large Asian and Hispanic crowd.  And they tend to be polar opposites of each other.  Above is a couple with a Louis Vuitton bag, eating sea aneome and crab.  Very posh.

But inches away are another family- coming with their bag from Walmart.  It attracts all kinds, and is really quite an interesting gathering of the people of Redondo and the surrounding area.

Here's our family photo- so adorable as we all enjoyed our night out at the pier/on the town.

And of course, no trip to this part of Redondo would be complete without a trip to the churro lady for a 'sweet' treat. Then a walk down the circular pier, that always completes the evening.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Differences in our Days

This morning was my first day staying home with both girls.  And since it's not quite over yet (who am I kidding, I'm writing this starting at 1:20pm, anywhere from 4-5 hours before my solo day is over!) I can say that it's been going okay.

When Working Dad got up this morning to go to work, I couldn't help but think about how different our days were going to be.  And how jealous I was of his.  It's unfortunate that I've been so dang scared of having both of them by myself, because I don't think I've had a moment to really enjoy myself today.

So let's review how our days are going to go:
He's going to get up, get showered, dressed, changed.  He doesn't eat breakfast (he never does) but he'll have something at work.  He kisses me, says goodbye to EG and heads out.  He didn't worry about anyone else's shoes- no one else tried to pick out his outfit.  He just chose his clothes, and walked away.

He'll get to work and have time to drink at least a cup of tea- likely several.  He'll sit at this desk and talk with adults.  No, not all the conversations will be pleasant, but at least he's assured that they will speak to him in English, that he'll be able to understand them, and that when he talks to them they will understand him.  It's very unlikely that someone will cry or scream at him.

He'll work the morning away- go to several meetings.  Again, these might not be pleasant, but he'll get through them. He works with numbers, so while he's sitting at his desk he'll answer his e-mails, and probably work on a few different reports for different divisions around the office.

Sometime between noon-2pm he'll decide he's hungry.  Most days that means he'll leave the office, get in his car and decide where he wants to go for lunch.  He may meet up with a friend, or bring someone from the office.  He'll have just about complete control over what he eats.  He'll spend that time either alone, or with someone he moderately likes while eating.  He'll have a chance to step away and have some adult conversation.

From there, it's back to the desk. Probably a few more meetings.  Then he'll work on some projects.  I'm sure there will be some frustrations as bosses make dumb decisions, the people under him can't get their work done, etc. but all in all a reasonable day.

Around 5pm he'll start to think about coming home.  He'll pack up his stuff (a wallet, keys, and sunglasses) and head out the door.  On the way home he'll listen to the radio, enjoying whatever music he wants to. 

Luckily for him, dinner will be done when he gets here.  He'll have 2 hours with EG (or so) and then maybe a few more with Ocho before they are both asleep for the night (okay, Ocho will get up several times, but Mommy usually deals mostly with those).

And when I think about his day- his cups of tea, his lunch, I'm totally jealous.

I got up with EG.  I temporarily left Ocho sleeping on our big bed- which terrifies me, but if I can get EG up, changed, give her milk and put her in her play space so I can take a shower before Ocho wakes up, I know I'll be ahead of the curve, so I do it anyways.  She can't roll over, she has clear breathing lines, and if all heck breaks loose she can only roll into her co-sleeper...

I did manage to shower this morning, and our big plan is to head to the Alondra water park.  EG loves it and has been begging for it almost daily.  So, that's the plan.

I make lunch for us to take to the park.  I start on dinner (crock-pot bell peppers).  I manage to eat a bowl of cereal while nursing Ocho at the table.  While I'm doing those things, EG is in between my legs and we're singing the 'ABC' Song.  I don't even attempt to boil water for tea, between cooking the turkey for dinner, packing up lunch, helping burp Ocho, and letting EG choose clothing to wear.

Finally around 9:45 we get out the door. Immediately Ocho is crying. Bawling.  Wailing about being in her car seat.  I keep going, because if I don't we won't ever get to Alondra.

We get there, and I put Ocho in the Lillebaby carrier.  This causes EG to start wailing, because that's her backpack, and she wants to be carried like a baby.  But I convince her that we're going in the water, and she really wants to walk.

With Ocho on me, I get EG changed in her swimwear.  Alondra goes well.  We play in water for about an hour, I nurse Ocho, then EG plays on the swing and the slide.  Around 11:30am we leave.  I have two more tantrums from EG about leaving.

Luckily for me, Ocho transfers to the car seat just fine, so I get EG a quick shower before nap.  Just as I put EG down, Ocho wakes up.  And I nurse her, play with her, tummy time, etc. Until just now- 1:30pm.  When I expect EG to wake up anytime in the next 5-30minutes.  So, here I am, trying to take advantage of my few minutes of me time to write on my blog.

I expect that the rest of my afternoon will be playing with EG outside on the slide- maybe having a visit from Hava and Judy.  But mind, the only adult conversation I've had have been about 15 minute snipits with random women at the park.  And the only alone time I'll have until tonight in bed is right now...

And that's why I'm jealous of him...

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